Anaheim Police Sergeant Calls for Reforms, Blasts APD Leadership

Tony-MontanarellaSgt. Tony Montanarella of the Anaheim Police Department penned a column that appeared in the OC Register yesterday (for those who unable to penetrate the paywall, here’s a PDF of the op-ed).

Sgt. Montanarella calls out three areas in which he urges reform:

  1. “Promote and advance the most qualified and most experienced candidates.”
  2. “Capitalize and take full advantage of all the methods of communication we have at our disposal.”
  3. “Put our own house in order first.”

Sgt. Montanarella also states his belief that the upcoming selection of a new police chief is the “most important selection…in the department’s history.”

Montanarella alleges that “for years promotions and specialized assignments were based on favoritism and cronyism and not qualifications and experience. The results were an incestuous and corrupt system in which officers were promoted and advanced based on who they were aligned with. When it came time to perform, they fell far short.”

He also laments that “the department is obsessed with catering to a very angry, vocal minority with political agendas at the expense of the overwhelming majority of the population we serve who support us and appreciate what we do.”  Although he doesn’t identify  the “very angry, very vocal minority” – although I think we can guess to whom he is referring.

It’s hard to argue with Sgt. Montanarella’s prescriptions. Who wouldn’t be in favor of promoting the most qualified candidates? As for the allegations he makes, I don’t know enough to judge them one way or another. It is certainly food for thought, and I agree this police chief selection is a critical one, and whoever does take the rains shouldn’t accord undue influence and attention to a vocal minority in Anaheim who believe the worst in police and view gangs and gang members through a soft-focus lens.

I did do some Googling, and Sgt. Montanarella is also an active supporter of our 2nd Amendment rights and a member of the California Rifle and Pistol Association Board of Directors— which makes me like him a lot right there. He’s also a collector of World War I and World War II militaria – and as a military history buff that causes me to esteem him even more.

No comments

  1. AnaheimBlog.net photos from July 21, 2013, of Genevieve Huizar sitting in front of our police department shamefully allowing children to deface the walls of our police department with derogatory graffiti against police illustrates in part how her own children were so poorly parented. The current police chief should not have allowed this. I want a police chief who will not allow this to ever happen again.

  2. Sick of Politics

    Kudos for speaking up!! The new chief appointment is an important one indeed. And I hope and pray the selection will be based on merit , not politics. I also hope it is one that doesn’t cave to the gang members.

  3. Wow…. the Chamber has a preferred police chief? Thanks for the heads up, but … really, why would the Chamber prefer an “overwhelming force” chief over one who talks to the community?

    • Matthew Cunningham

      Vern, at least go through the motions of trying the pay attention.

      Where did anyone say anything about the Chamber of Commerce having a preference as to police chief?

  4. Matthew Cunningham

    Has it been a handicap for you to go through life so tenuously tethered to logic and fact, Vern?

    I am a consultant to the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. I do not set Chamber policy, nor am I a spokesman for the Chamber.

    By your logic, you are a spokesman for the churches that hire you, and set policy for them.

    I dissed no one. Nor did I swoon. I like that Sgt. Montanarella is a pro-2nd Amendment activist.

    I’ve noticed most of my interaction with you, especially here, is correcting your leaps of logic, your assumption of facts not in evidence, your feverishly conspiratorial imagination, or your habit of presenting your speculations as facts.

  5. I get it – he is opposed to problems endemic to all governmental bureaucracies – and I assume that he is in favor of mom and apple pie as well.

  6. Perspective #1

    So Sergeant Tony Montanarella correctly and bravely steps up and talks about the problems in the leadership structure of the Anaheim police department.

    But he also downplays the “small vocal” group of people voicing concerns/complaints about the Anaheim officers out in the field. He wants to maintain the position that there are serious internal problems with his department while also claiming that these internal problems never spilled over into the community – aka the cops on the street are all misunderstood little angels. The implication: the concerns voiced by these “small groups” in the community are unfounded (because we were bored “keeping up with the Kardashians” and decided hey let’s pick a fight with city hall and the local police department – that’ll be exciting!)

    Tony, take it from this one cop accountability advocate: you sound like you are trying to have your cake, eat it to, kill the baker and then get an award from the city at the next council meeting. The position doesn’t add up for me.

    Perspective #2

    If we start with the assumption that Sergeant Tony Montanarella:

    1. is a good cop

    2. who bravely spoke about dysfunction in his own department

    3. who honestly believes that 99.99% of his fellow cops are like him therefore making him not understand or believe the complaints levied by many in the community of Anaheim.

    Then it would confirm something that I have long suspected based on my 15+ years of pondering this OC police community.

    That several of the police/sheriffs departments are structured in the same way that Bernie Madoff structured his investment company. One section of the company consisting of legitimate investment work and the other section of the company involved in unspeakable acts of human depravity. The good half of Madoff’s company supposedly never understood what he was doing upstairs. Bernie would also hide behind the good members of his company as cover for the criminal crap occurring literally on another floor of the office building.

    So good cop Sergeant Tony Montanarella detects that something is rotten in Denmark, correctly identifies part of the problem but honestly doesn’t understand the full scope of the problem.

    If Tony and any other good cop in Orange County knew how they were used and how badly their trust is betrayed, the next protest would contain many a cop.

    Anyway those are my two takes on Sergeant Tony Montanarella.

    Thanks for at least speaking out about a real and significant part of the problem. Been waiting for you for quite some time.

  7. The preceding comment was from the perspective of an Hispanic American engineer working on “surveillance state” type projects (1992 -2005) who became a victim of that very surveillance state.

    It’s why I vote NO on the surveillance state

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